How to find linking resources through Google AdWords

December 18, 2007 – 6:22 am

Any webmaster/SEO has reached the same inspirational rock bottom when it comes to getting links to a website close to his heart – link source exhaustion. With all the directories submitted to, hundreds of emails sent to webmasters, thousands of comment/signature spam links left, you have the will, you have the resources but there is absolutely nowhere left to look. So here is a thought. Google indexes all the sites on the Internet anyway. So why not ask them to give you a list of relevant sites you can contact for links ?

Here is a little step-by-step tutorial that has helped me do this more than once:

  1. Create a substantial relevant keyword list . Don’t be afraid to dig sideways. Even a fleeting association with your main theme is good enough.
  2. Create AdWords campaign for your site, bidding for the keywords from the above list. Limit the campaign to Content Network.
  3. Plan the bidding daily budget in a way so that you don’t spend too much money on it. The purpose of the exercise is not necessarily to get traffic to your site (although it is a nice bonus. Usually badly converting one, but still a bonus), but to develop a list of sites that can serve as potential link sources.
  4. Let the campaign run for a week.
  5. After a week (or couple of thousands of impressions, whichever comes first), run a Placement Report for the period throughout which the campaign is running (click on thumbnail on the right to see the snapshot of the type-of-report-choosing step in Google AdWords)
  6. Harvest the list of websites that showed your ad through Google AdSense program.
  7. Start contacting webmasters and offering them, ahem, your eternal friendship and appreciation in exchange for a link with the preferable anchor text. For better results, preferably contact those websites that have actually brought you conversions. There is going to be a lot of pruning of useless MySpace accounts (although there may be a few useful ones there) but some gems will emerge.
  8. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The idea is that Google is placing ads in the content network on sites they consider relevant to your niche (their effectiveness at doing so is debatable, but that is a different issue altogether). So take the list of URLs that have shown your ad and voilà.

So you may have spent a few bucks on the AdWords, however, instead of purchasing relevant links for big bucks, you have invested some of that money in potentially relevant traffic AND gained dozens of URLs with linking potential. Naturally, this process has a learning curve which will get you to the point where you are bidding only for those keywords that trigger your ad on very relevant sites.

Good luck.


  1. 13 Responses to “How to find linking resources through Google AdWords”

  2. cool idea and right under googles nose

    By reputation management on Dec 18, 2007

  3. Smart idea 🙂

    By SEO Studio Melbourne on Feb 13, 2008

  4. Hey…
    Could you not just get this from planning to build a ‘placement targetted’ campaign in Google ads anyway. You can search for potential websites in the adsense network that relate to keywords you enter. You could then avoid the cost of actually switching on a generic ‘content targetted’ campaign.

    Just a thought…


    By gary on Mar 6, 2008

  5. Hi Branko,

    Very interesting! Will surely try that.

    I would supposed that when you say “bidding only for those keywords that trigger your ad on very relevant sites” you mean bidding on long tail keywords? Is that what has worked best for you (gave you the most relevant sites)?


    By SEO Brasil on Mar 12, 2008

  6. Nice post. Thats a really clever idea.

    I think all optimizers get to a point where you think you have run out of all linking possibilities and really its just a case of being creative as in your example.

    By SEO Spain on May 19, 2008

  7. Good man. i optimizing my site but not link google adwords the order is too large…

    By Transportadora on Jan 27, 2009

  8. Estou otimizando meu site muito obrigado pelas dicas, para mim keywords são de grande ajuda!

    By Mudanças on Jan 27, 2009

  9. Interessante, criei um diretorio de links
    é uma pena não poder aplicar todas as regras devido ao banco de dados!
    mas ja ajuda!

    By BrZone on Jan 27, 2009

  10. Apliquei as regras

    By transportadora on Feb 23, 2009

  11. Very smart idea using adwords for seo purposes.

    By seo tips on May 28, 2009

  12. estava buscando esta informação, irei aplicar.

    By Empresas de Mudanças on Jul 14, 2009

  13. excellent idea

    By Mudanças on Jul 14, 2009

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